ESPN is finishing up the top end of their 2015 NBA Player Rankings, but we've got the final Rocket, James Harden, coming in at No.5 so it's time to look back at how the Houston Rockets roster fared. You can check out our take on the bottom end of the rankings we did a while back. Thankfully everyone else on the roster is better than former #1 pick Anthony Bennett.
Numbers in parentheses are the players' rankings from the previous year.
5. James Harden (9)
14. Dwight Howard (10)
67. Ty Lawson (45)
94. Trevor Ariza (84)
104. Donatas Motiejunas (217)
112. Terrence Jones (156)
135. Patrick Beverley (103)
165. Corey Brewer (143)
232. K.J. McDaniels (291)
235. Marcus Thornton (167)
264. Jason Terry (287)
265. Clint Capela (445)
277. Sam Dekker (N/A)
Harden makes a leap up from No.9 in 2014 to No.5 in 2015. Off the top off my head I would guess the four players ahead of him are Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, LeBron James and Anthony Davis. I think we'll live with that.
Dwight maintains a lofty position on the list, only falling four spots from last season despite only playing half of last season and seeing a slight dip in production. This is obviously something that's being debated with both sides having fair points. The injury concerns probably play into the detraction, but if Howard finds a healthy streak then that No.14 ranking will look silly in the other direction.
Most of the other rankings look like they coincide with players getting on up there in age as well as young players making strides in development. Motiejunas' jump is definitely worth noting, soaring up over 100 spots and getting near the top century mark. I think we'll see K.J. McDaniels make one of those jumps next year.
For what this is worth, the Rockets end up with (4) players in the top 100. Looking at some of the Rockets competition in the Western Conference, you've got the Golden State Warriors with (6), the LA Clippers with (4), the Memphis Grizzlies with (4), the New Orleans Pelicans with (6), the Oklahoma City Thunder with (3), and the Spurs with (5).
What do you all think? Who was ranked too high or too low?